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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Homeless family of seven offered sleeping bags at Dublin garda station

A local councillor called the situation ‘barbaric’.

A HOMELESS FAMILY of seven were forced to seek refuge in a Garda station last night, prompting further criticism of the government’s response to homelessness. 

Charity Inner City Helping Homeless posted on Twitter this morning photos of a family who “had been picked up by our outreach support team in a local Garda Station” just after midnight. 

The charity said that the family, made up of five children and two parents, were provided with sleeping bags and offered the floor of Store Street garda station to sleep on. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless and local councillor Anthony Flynn, called the situation “barbaric”.

“This is not the first time this has happened in the state,” he said. Flynn said it was particularly damning because 10 October is World Homeless Day. 

Flynn said that the charity had provided accommodation to the family last night. He said he was calling for resignations, including from housing minister Eoghan Murphy, over the fact that “no alternative option was put in place apart from sleeping in a garda station”. 

Flynn was highly critical of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, which he said had made a “mistake”. 

A spokesperson for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said that “this mother and her children were offered emergency accommodation last night but did not wish to take up the offer”.

They said that “there are limited accommodation options for this family due to issues arising in previous placements”. 

Dublin Region Homeless Executive has contacted the family and emergency accommodation has been offered to them, the spokesperson said. 

Flynn rejected this, saying that ”the family were more than happy to accept the accommodation we provided”. 

If no hotel rooms are available or emergency beds are full, families are told to present to a garda station for shelter. 

The most recent Department of Housing figures show that 10,338 people were in emergency accommodation in Ireland in August, including 6,490 adults and 3,848 children.

In the Budget, announced this week, the government allocated €1.1 billion for social housing and an additional €20 million for homeless services. 

However, experts and opposition parties have warned that this will not be enough to solve the country’s housing crisis. 

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